Salehi: Iran still has right to enrich uranium
A picture obtained from Iran's ISNA news agency shows IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Safeguards, Tero Varjoranta and Iran's new ambassador to the IAEA Reza Najafi shaking hands after reaching an agreement, in Tehran on February 9, 2014. [AFP]
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A day after a deal with the IAEA, Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's nuclear negotiator, said his country hasn't lost the right to enrich uranium to 20 percent purity.
Iran in November agreed to enrich uranium only to 5 percent purity in exchange for some relief from Western sanctions. Salehi said Monday his country has enough 20 percent uranium on hand for its research reactor in Tehran.
"But we have not lost our right to produce 20 percent fuel," he was quoted by Iran's semiofficial Fars News Agency as saying.
Enrichment to 20 percent purity is seen by Western powers as a sign Iran is interested in developing a nuclear weapons program, an allegation the Iranian government denies.
Iran hosted representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency during the weekend. Both sides signed a framework for cooperation, outlining seven measures Iran is to implement by May 15.
The IAEA said in a statement Sunday it wanted more information regarding "Iran's stated need or application for the development of exploding bridge wire detonators," a detonation device commonly used in nuclear weapons.
IAEA inspectors last year said there may be a military dimension to parts of Iran's nuclear research program.